Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Thursday, February 28, 2013

After a later start than expected, well I was enjoying chilling having a coffee with Kenny before I left, I got on a very hot and dusty road on the way out of Kampot. I was no sooner away than I came across a Buddhist parade coming along from their temple.  There are many people involved not just in the parade but the police too for controlling the traffic, it's quite an affair so I become onlooker for a short spell and snap a couple of pictures before setting off again.

I’ve 100km today to Sihanouk Ville but I know already it’s going to be a killer, I’ve used all my small change buying that last coffee which only leaves me enough for two small bottles of water on route and with no breakfast I know I’ll be struggling, I’ve only a $20 bill.  It’s a lovely ride today although I am tired, it’s very, very hot, and dusty, and in parts I find it really hard to breathe… mmm not good

I pass floating villages, temples, mosques, traditional housing and farmers working in the fields.  The traffic on the road can be chaos with the local minibuses stacking their loads high, sometimes with many people sitting on the roof or out the back door, and its funny when motorbikes are strapped onto the back!!

After around 50km I meet a young Spanish guy who is also cycling from Kampot to Sihanouk Ville so we spend a few hours together before getting separated.  He changed my $20 for two $10 which at least let me get some lunch in the next town, which wasn’t far away.  Before I got to Sihanouk Ville I nearly gave up, the hills at the end were killing me so I headed for a hammock for around an hour to recover only to discover when I got going that I was just coming into the town.  I found my hostel up on Victory Hill and met Jon and Neil, who I first met in Kep for dinner and a catch up, they’re a great couple and I really enjoy hanging out with them again for a couple of days.

The hostel is only $2 a night which is great and the first two nights I have the whole dorm to myself… result.  There’s a nice community up here on the hill which I enjoy and the nearest is beach is pretty quiet and tame compared to downtown where Serendipity and Otres and more like Ibiza, the place is jumping but it’s not my thing, so back to the hill I go.  

I quite enjoy the markets downtown and go shopping with Big John from the hostel which is good fun, you see all sorts that you just wouldn’t believe, and I enjoy watching him haggle.  The market is all undercover which is often the case here, it would be too hot otherwise but when the stall holders have a quiet few minutes the gambling begins.  It's funny watching crowds of women with their big floppy hats on sitting having their card games!  

It’s far from being a scenic town though, in fact I would say quite the opposite, I don’t like it at all however I have to admit that once you fight your way out to the beaches, they are beautiful but, I much preferred both Kep and Kampot. Big long straight roads which go up a hill, down a hill, up a hill, down a hill, up a hill and so on.

I met lots of lovely folk at the hostel and in fact went a bit of late night swimming with a big crowd one of the nights where we were jumping off the pier and generally mucking around, all in the name of good fun.  I walk down to the beach every day armed with my book and sun cream, the sun beds are free even if you buy just a bottle of water which is great, and the sea is really clean and safe to swim in.  Thankfully I’ve started to lose the lovely cycle tan lines, and I enjoy just having a lazy few days, this is the last beach I will see for a while so I take full advantage of it and just chill out.  

So that’s how I fill a few days, sunning myself, swimming, and the food up on the hill is very good and very reasonable, I can get a really good dinner for $3, Kymer or Western but I’ve taken a liking to both the Fish Amok and the Beef Lok Lak mmm tasty, tasty!  I love trying all the local foods although I still hate eating with cutlery, chopsticks are better even but I hate putting metal into my mouth… see what a year eating with my hand has done!
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fasloon rahuman on

you photos i like w nice b full

new_lands on

Fasloon you would love it here, a lot like Sri Lanka in places with stunning beaches although the sea is calmer which as you know, suits me ;)

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